YB Wong Chen
The Pakatan Harapan Alternative Budget 2016
Below is a summary of the events leading up to the creation of the Pakatan Harapan Alternative Budget 2016. My press statement can be found after this summary.
12 October 2015 (2.40pm): My office has been working non stop finishing up the Pakatan Harapan 2016 budget. We worked over the weekend too and I went to bed at 2 am last night.
We have completed 95% of the writing and now spending time making sure the financial numbers tally and also tightening the language. Eric is formatting and finishing the last 5% of the writing. We are awaiting final papers to come in from Amanah and DAP. Nadirah has been assigned to produce some info graphics. Wyhow is finishing the revenue and expenditure tables. Amir, Gillian and Abigail are proof reading and doing some design work. We hope to finish everything tonight.
10.20pm: Wyhow and I are still in my office working on the Pakatan Harapan budget 2016. We just had our dinner and will continue to work probably until 11 pm. I also just had a long conversation with YB Rafizi on some points of the budget. We are planning to do a Pakatan Harapan press conference tomorrow to address some budget matters.
I have also assigned more proof readers for tomorrow. It’s hard to pick up your own mistakes in the writing.
13 October 2015: I joined YB Rafizi and Dr Dzul as part of the Pakatan Harapan economic team this morning for a press conference on toll and petrol prices. Rafizi spoke about a proposal to the toll concessionaires to forgo the toll hike in return for first right of refusal for future contracts, but on market terms. He also proposed a reduction of petrol prices by using Ringgit denominated cost of production instead of Platts numbers. This will reduce petrol prices by some 30 sen per litre.
I then added in a budgetary point that for 2016 the government will collect RM15 billion more from GST and save another RM11 billion from ending the fuel subsidy. So the government will have a net gain of RM26 billion. So how is it possible that the government is now pleading they don’t have money of RM1 billion to pay concessionaires for agreements that BN signed off on and now they have the gall to ask the rakyat to pay.
15 October 2015: This late morning we did a press conference on the Pakatan Harapan Alternative Budget 2016. After eight weeks and about 6 days of non stop work, we are now ready for final layout and printing. My team can now catch up on some much needed sleep. I will probably take the day off tomorrow and go watch a movie with my wife.
The Pakatan Harapan Budget will be revealed in Parliament on Wednesday 21st October 2015 by the Pakatan Harapan leaders, Kak Wan, Kit Siang and Mat Sabu.
Today’s PC was attended by YB Tony Pua, Dr Dzul, Dr Fahmi, Shao Loong. I invited Eric Lee, Wyhow and Nadirah to join us for a group photo. Eric, Wyhow and Nadirah are the unsung heroes from the PKR side (there are also unsung heroes/interns from DAP and Amanah), and they have been working non stop being bossed about by me the last few days. It’s like waiting for a birth of child and these super interns delivered.
MEDIA STATEMENT: THE PAKATAN HARAPAN ALTERNATIVE BUDGET 2016
Pakatan Harapan has been working together on the Alternative Budget for the last 8 weeks. The budget is now ready and this afternoon will go into final layout work and printing. The alternative budget will be announced by YB Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah, YB Lim Kit Siang and Yang Berbahagia Haji Mat Sabu next Wednesday on 21st October 2015 in Parliament.
The 2016 Alternative budget is produced by a core economic team of 16 persons that included MPs, researchers, mathematicians and an army of young interns from PKR, DAP and Amanah who assisted with writing, policy research, design and formatting works.
Pakatan Harapan proposes a disciplined approach towards the national budget and broadly speaking we will not recommend pump priming for 2016. Instead our focus will be on human capital development and pursuit of savings from anti corruption measures. We worked heavily on fiscal projections and also on policy positions. We also have a special section that deals with policy ideas to avert a looming economic crisis.
Fiscally, the Pakatan Harapan’s alternative budget is both smaller in revenue and government expenditure. The smaller revenue base is a result of our progressive taxation policies. What it means is under Pakatan Harapan, the rakyat and businesses will ultimately pay fairer but less taxes. Our smaller expenditure is not based on budget cuts, but is a result of savings from anti-corruption measures and an aversion of prestige mega development projects. In addition to our fiscal position, we have also produced two key policy papers focusing on (a) the deep economic concerns of Sabah and Sarawak, (b) revamping the agricultural policies for the rural folks.
YB Wong Chen Member of Parliament for Kelana Jaya 15 October 2015